With 31 points through 28 matches, Brighton are right on course to reach their goal of staying in the Premier League this season. With 40 points being the traditional goal for safety, the Seagulls need three more wins in their last 10 matches. They do have five matches against the big six in those last 10, so they’d like to be able to win one of those to give themselves some security. Of the big six, Arsenal are the easiest to beat at this point. The Gunners have been awful away from home, so the Seagulls will look to take advantage of this on their path to safety.
Arsenal are having a tough time at the moment. This is especially true away from home. The Gunners have won only three of their 14 league away matches this season, including losing their last three. That is terrible for a top-six team. It stretches back further than just this season as well, they’ve won only seven of their last 26 Premier League away matches. Their away form gives any team hope when they host the Gunners and is the main reason Arsene Wenger’s side will likely miss out on the top four for the second consecutive season.
Chris Hughton doesn’t have many injuries to worry about heading into this huge game against Arsenal. Jiri Skalak won’t be available due to an ankle problem, but he was unlikely to play a huge role anyway. Steve Sidwell and Izzy Brown are the other two injury concerns for the Seagulls.
Nacho Monreal will be missing again for the Gunners and Arsene Wenger has admitted that he could be out for the next fortnight. Alexandre Lacazette won’t feature, but he could be back involved with the first-team sooner than first expected. Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere is a doubt. As they didn’t make any substitutions on Thursday, they may choose to rotate to keep players fresh. Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland Niles could both play a prominent part.
Brighton: Glenn Murray
Brighton are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and Murray is a big reason for that. The English striker has scored four goals in his last four Premier League matches helping to propel them up the table. Arsenal’s defense can be gotten at and Murray will hope to exploit their vulnerabilities and add to his recent goal haul.
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil
Arsenal need their best players to help pull them out of this terrible run they are in. No one in the Arsenal squad is better than Ozil. Wenger needs his team’s highest earner to put in some huge performances if the Gunners are to claw themselves back into any kind of race for the top four. Ozil is going to need to form a connection with big singing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang soon and start creating some goals or else Arsenal’s situation could somehow get even worse.
Brighton will be a tough test for Arsenal as it is not at Emirates Stadium. This is a game the Gunners need to win and, based on their recent form, they will not get it done.